The Audience

Claire Foy, Matt Smith and More Set to Star in Netflix Series ‘The Crown’

Everyone’s getting into the British drama game these days, including powerhouse streaming service Netflix. Best known for buzzy dramas such as House of Cards and Daredevil, the online-only distributor is set to launch a new series called The Crown, an original decades-spanning drama about Queen Elizabeth II and the prime ministers who helped shape post-war Britain.

The Crown tells the inside story of two of the most famous addresses in the world – Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street – and the intrigues, love lives and machinations behind the great events that shaped the second half of the 20th century.

The series is based on Peter Morgan’s award-winning play The Audience – the stage version of which recently netted star Helen Mirren both the Olivier and the Tony for Best Actress for her performance as Her Majesty the Queen. The play used the weekly meetings (audiences) given by Queen Elizabeth to her prime ministers as a framework to tell the story of her remarkable life and reign.

Helen Mirren Will Bring the Queen to Broadway in 2015 with ‘The Audience’

Theater lovers of America, it’s okay if you’re sometimes secretly sad that we so infrequently get the chance to see the many great British productions that go up in the West End. Sure, sometimes you get lucky and are on a UK vacation right when something grand is on, but given the sheer volume of long-running shows and ever-changing limited engagement options in London, well, we all know we’re missing out on something incredible pretty much nearly all the time.

Thanks to the heroic efforts of outfits such as the National Theatre Live program or various Fathom Event promotions, we do occasionally get the opportunity to see simulcasts of particularly popular British theatrical productions on a significant scale in America – both Helen McCrory’s Medea and Gillian Anderson’s A Streetcar Named Desire were recently screened nationwide, and Danny Boyle’s brilliant production of Frankenstein is about to get another round of encore runs in honor of Halloween (and the fact that the Benedict Cumberbatch-led production consistently sells out houses all over the country). But, as much as we love it, it’s just not the same.

However, sometimes, a particularly popular or acclaimed British production will be picked up and recreated on Broadway, giving American fans with the ability and desire to go to New York the chance to see the show in person for themselves. Most recently, Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe reprised his leading role in The Cripple of Inishmaan last winter, but come 2015, the Great White Way is going to get a little bit more regal.